Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Medicating people without consent or against their expressed wish is illegal.

Alex Schadenberg
Executive Director - Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

The Euthanasia Prevention Coalition regularly receives stories from family members or friends concerning medical decisions.

Yesterday I was sent a story from a grieving son whose mother died a few days after she was given medication that she had specifically refused. 

The issue of consent can be difficult. A person, while competent, will usually be respected when they refuse medication or treatments, but when a person becomes incompetent, their previous expressed wishes are sometimes ignored.This is not the first story I have been sent from a family member or friend concerning medical treatment or medication administered against a persons known wishes.

There were two questions from the caring son.
1. Did the drugs, that she clearly did not want, cause her death?
2. Was giving his mother these drugs illegal?
The first question is hard to answer. It is hard to know whether or not the medications led to his mother's death.

Do not use my comments as legal advice, but to answer the second question - in general it is illegal to administer drugs against someone's consent and if there is clear knowledge of a person refusing certain medications or treatments, while competent, then when incompetent that persons wishes should be respected by medical care-givers, institutions and persons who have the legal right to make medical decisions for that person.

In emergency situations medications will often be administered without consent, if consent is not possible. Another problem occurs when someone is incompetent, and the person they have appointed to make medical decisions has consented to the treatment.

It is very important to have a document, such as the Life-Protecting Power of Attorney for Personal Care (Link to order) that can be purchased from the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition and to appoint a medical decision maker who understands your wishes and shares your values.


Anonymous said...

Medicating people without their consent is COMMON, and informed consent is NEVER obtained. My very best friend in the entire world was given FOURTEEN medications against his will and behind his back, and it killed him. It took two years of suffering before he died. And there was absolutely nothing we could do about it. This is "standard of care" and a malpractice lawyer won't touch it! This is actually battery, and battery is a felony. But try to get redress of grievance. It is impossible!

In particular, it was asked that ONE SPECIFIC medication be stopped. The doctor who had prescribed it quit the case, and they kept right on giving the medication.

Pat Goltz

Vi said...

Wow! I'm so sorry for your precious loss! :( Most people don't even realize that this is happening & those who do will not speak out against it until it happens to someone in their family... Smh Blessings of comfort & peace... xoxoxox